Last week, MTN Nigeria Plc announced the rollout of the 5th generation (5G) technology in seven major cities in Nigeria. The rollout is expected to cover the following cities within a month: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, and Kano, with Owerri and Maiduguri to follow afterwards.

This news was met with jubilation (especially within the tech community). Now Nigeria is on track to make the 5G network commercially available, joining other African countries like Lesotho and South Africa.

Key takeaways: 

  1. Eight months after paying $276 million for a 5G licence, MTN has begun the roll-out of the 5G technology in selected locations in Nigeria.

  2. 5G technology offers four major use cases with great benefits to the Nigerian economy. They include ultra-fast internet speeds, low latency, massive machine-type communications and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

  3. While we have seen improvements in 4G penetration, 4G adoption has lagged due to a slew of issues, including right-of-way issues, smartphone affordability, cable theft and vandalism etc. If the current state of broadband technology (especially 4G) is anything to go by, Nigeria’s readiness for 5G is still very low.


​​​The calls for celebration are justified. 5G is the current generation of mobile communications technology designed to outpace the preceding 4G networks with new capabilities and specifications that will foster innovation and development.

Over the past 30 years, the mobile industry has proven its ability to connect and transform the economy through its 2G, 3G and 4G networks. 5G builds on previous generations' successes and is expected to enhance existing services and enable new business models and use cases.

Before the introduction of 4G, early mobile technologies (1G, 2G and 3G) were heavily voice-oriented in their